We previously proposed the defensive role of a signal pathway triggered by the polyamine spermine (Spm) in the reaction against avirulent viral pathogens in Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we showed that thermospermine (T-Spm), an isomer of Spm, is also active in inducing the expression of the genes involved in the Spm-signal pathway at a similar dose as Spm. Furthermore, we found that T-Spm enhances the expression of a subset of pathogenesis-related genes whose expression is induced during cucumber mosaic virus (CMV)-triggered hypersensitive response. In consistent with the above observation, we further showed that exogenous T-Spm can repress CMV multiplication with same efficiency as Spm. Key message: Polyamine thermospermine, an isomer of spermine, is able to induce a subset of hypersensitive response-related defense genes and can suppress cucumber mosaic virus multiplication in Arabidopsis thaliana.
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